SWCA urges ‘no’ vote on Initiative 976

Consequences if I-976 should pass would be devastating to the construction industry

Southwest Washington Contractors Association opposes – and urges a no vote on – Initiative 976, which is slated for the November 2019 general election ballot

The association of nearly 500 commercial and industrial professionals and businesses supplemental to the industry is raising a flag to alert voters of consequences that would be devastating to the construction industry should Initiative 976 pass next month.

On the surface, Initiative 976 sounds appealing because of a potential reduction in licensing fees. Should Initiative 976 pass, however, there is a high risk of eliminating valuable work to the commercial, industrial and infrastructure construction industry.

Passage of I-976 will cost the state nearly $4 billion over the next decade. Many of the resources affected (i.e. Motor Vehicle Account, Multimodal Account, Washington State Patrol Highway Account, and the Transportation Partnership Account, among others) directly fund programs that impact infrastructure development, freight and workforce mobility, as well as transit programs in Southwest Washington.

Initiative 976 permanently eliminates future local control for infrastructure spending, and it thwarts already-funded current and future projects.

Local impacts that would be seen immediately include the loss of funding for long-deferred maintenance and repair for streets across the county, which easily lead to more degradation of these roads; cancellation or delay of bicycle & pedestrian projects; and cancellation of funding for C-Tran – which could jeopardize some regular routes, special needs and paratransit programs.

Clearly, the loss of any of the above projects could cost the community – and our industry – valuable projects and coveted jobs, not to mention the safe mobility of freight, materials and workforce.

SWCA joins the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Identity Clark County, Columbia River Economic Development Council, the City of Vancouver, Association of Washington Business, Association of General Contractors, Washington, and many other industry-facing organizations in recommending a “No on Initiative 976” vote.

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